Spermatogenesis of five rhabditid nematodes was studied using transmission electron microscopy and is described herein. Structure and development of nematode sperm in all available representatives of the extensive order Rhabditida have been analysed and the main characteristics of each infraorder are discussed. The ancestral sperm of the order Rhabditida was reconstructed using maximum likelihood and Bayesian methods based on 44 ultrastructural sperm characters. The hypothetical ancestral spermatogenesis of the order Rhabditida agrees with the previously suggested “rhabditid” pattern and appears to be conserved throughout the order Rhabditida. Despite the enormous variation of rhabditid nematodes, few groups deviate from the ancestral pattern. This conserved pattern can be informative within the phylum Nematoda at order level, but poses limitations when used in taxonomic and phylogenetic analysis within Rhabditida.